NEHA May 2014 Journal of Environmental Health - page 9

May 2014
• Journal of Environmental Health
our lives or it can prove to be stressful. We
have probably all now experienced firsthand
what doing “more with less” means. It often
translates into doing the job of more than
one person and it doesn’t take long to realize
that this is not sustainable for the long term.
You may find yourself in a daily juggling act
of sorts. Decreased staffing, squeezed bud-
gets, inherited programs, and politics can
all have a role in our rapidly changing pri-
orities. Accomplishing the same goals with
the same high quality standards and using
the same timelines as before resources were
reduced can lead to a compromised quality
product, employee burnout, and low morale.
It is likely your boss is experiencing similar
demands and stressors. One bit of advice to
address this ongoing challenge of managing
priorities is to engage in open and frequent
communication with management to assist
with evaluating the competing demands for
your time.
Knowing when a situa-
tion has gone beyond your level of expertise
and knowing who to call upon are equally
important. Do your best to stay current in
your areas of expertise through literature
reviews, attending technical workshops, and
staying connected with colleagues. Both your
state association and NEHA fit perfectly into
helping us to be resourceful.
These are just a few thoughts that came
to mind when the question of what it means
to be an environmental health professional
was asked. Endless approaches are available
to address this question. We could lead the
discussion toward several other valid path-
ways—how it means that we are educators,
scientists, policy makers, and stewards. My
approach for the CEHA presentation focused
on the above concepts: adaptability, collabo-
ration, commitment and dedication, diplo-
macy, ethics, leadership, mentorship, priori-
tization, and resourcefulness. I truly hope my
message was enlightening and empowering
to the audience, as well as to you, the reader
of this column. Please let me know if you
have any comments about what being an
environmental health professional means to
you. This is a thought-provoking question
that pertains to the essence of who we are as
environmental health professionals.
When you’re ready to apply
principles of sustainability.
You are ready for American Public University.
With more than 90 degrees to choose from, there’s almost no end to what you can
learn. Pursue a respected Environmental Science degree or certificate online — at
a cost that’s 20% less than the average in-state rates at public universities.*
*College Board: Trends in College Pricing, 2013.
We want you to make an informed decision about the university that’s right for you. For more about our graduation rates, the
median debt of students who completed each program, and other important information, visit
May is Clean Air Month.
North American Occupational Safety and Health Week is May 4–10, 2014.
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